Tell us about your overall university experience so far.
My university experience has been a real mixture of highs and lows and I have learned a great deal about myself whilst I have been...
OVERALL UNIVERSITY RATING
Tell us about your overall university experience so far.
My university experience has been a real mixture of highs and lows and I have learned a great deal about myself whilst I have been studying here. Now that I am in my final year I can see where there are gaps in my knowledge of things that I should have been taught and therefore have tried to teach myself unsuccessfully (such as Harvard referencing and the correct format for assignments).
The students at Hartpury can be snobby and it is an elitist place, but I have also met some incredible people and made friends for life. Hartpury University is by no means perfect but I will always treasure it as the place where I became an independent and intrinsically driven person. I love all of the events put on by the equestrian department; I have never attended so many demonstrations for sports and management in the equestrian industry and I have loved every minute of that. Hartpury is a small place and everyone knows everyone which can be a good or bad thing depending on the kind of person you are. Don't worry about making friends either, you will find your people. A car is extremely helpful and I don't know what I would have done without mine while I have been studying. I would recommend Hartpury as a university; visit as many open days as you can and ask all the questions you can think of. I have written my honest opinion of my experience at Hartpury University and I hope that my transparency will help other people to make informed decisions about studying here.
How does your uni make efforts to increase your employability (careers department, work placements, transferable skills)?
One of Hartpury's core values is good employment practice which they encourage students to work hard at. Students are encouraged to invest in their education to benefit them in the long run by attending sessions at the Achievement and Success Centre, make appointments with the Innovation and Careers Enterprise team about job placements and job opportunities and complete work placements as a requirement of the courses. Business degrees especially highlight the importance of transferable skills in the workplace and throughout life.
Course and Lecturers
What do you like most and least about the way your course(s) are taught?
I like that there a range of modules to choose from within the course, with the most choice in the final year of the course. The lecturers teach in a way that every student can understand and are available for meetings and drop-in sessions to help anyone who may need extra support. Some classes utilise video, interactive activities and require participation from students to make it an interesting and positive learning environment.
However, some lecturers can teach in styles that are more old-fashioned such as just writing on the whiteboard and speaking at the class rather than interacting with us and it isn't uncommon to find that some students have dozed off 20 minutes into the class.
What do you think of your Students' Union in terms of student representation and facilities?
The student union run a lot of events which unfortunately don't always get the turnout that other universities might have due to the smaller number of students at Hartpury. There is always something to attend or socials being organised, there just need to be more people willing to get involved.
How good are your university’s facilities?
The facilities for students who excel at their chosen sport are fantastic, with millions pumped into the equine and sporting parts of campus. However, for students who want to ride or play sport recreationally, there is little opportunity to use them. The lecture rooms are always too hot or too cold, with no windows and the lights are often broken and flickering. The library for University students is quite honestly shockingly bad. There are not enough computers for students to use and if it is dissertation hand in time... good luck! The library is always boiling hot which apparently cannot be helped (I did email and ask), and there is never enough room to sit. In terms of books, they are highly specialised, as are the courses, therefore the collection is vastly smaller than other universities.
Is your university in a good location in terms of distance to accommodation and local amenities?
Hartpury College itself is about a 15-20 minute drive from the city dependant on traffic. Without a car, some students can feel quite isolated when living on campus in their first year. The bus service is a work in progress at the moment and isn't particularly reliable. In terms of nightlife, there is Butlers (a bar) which is always quiet, and ATIK which is the main club (student nights are on a Wednesday) so the choice is limited for students wanting to go out clubbing. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants such as those at Gloucester Quays (the designer outlet) and the shopping on the high street is below average to be honest. Cheltenham is around 20-25 minutes away by car and is a bit higher end than Gloucester with better shops and nicer people! All Gloucester has is multiple gyms, a cinema and a 24 hour Asda if you can't sleep! Overall Gloucester is a bit of a dump but you get used it. It has a special place in my heart but I don't plan on visiting often.
Societies and Sports
How would you rate the variety of societies/sports?
While there are a few interesting clubs and societies, not many of them actually do much! I have been part of the Vet Society and paid a membership fee which resulted in nothing-no socials and no events planned. I am part of the Polocrosse Club run by a friend of mine and she has done a FANTASTIC job with it. I would highly recommend it. There needs to be more interest in the clubs and societies for them to fully flourish. The sports teams go all out for events which normally ends with wicked hangovers and a Snapchat laugh for everyone else. There is definitely a resistant for students to join clubs and societies which I believe may be partly due to the distance of the university from Gloucester, making it a drag to drive in just for one event.
How good is the support offered by the uni? Think both academic (tutors/feedback) and personal (counselling, etc).
In terms of support, Hartpury can either be fantastic or an absolute shambles. I have personally utilised the support offered by the Wellbeing team and have regular meetings with them to help with my anxiety. There is also a chaplaincy service, student counselling and Wellfest which is run every year after the freshers fair to encourage students to look after themselves, discourage drink-driving and be safe in the city. Whilst this is all fabulous, a friend of mine had a traumatic experience which the university was very unhelpful with when they had the power to do much more. Help is always implied to be offered but not always actually accessible.
In terms of academic feedback, some lecturers are really invested in their students and some clearly would rather be doing anything else. I have even put in a complaint about one of my lecturers (who is also my tutor) for how poorly she managed the feedback of my coursework and was never contactable despite the reassurance that our tutors were always there to help us.